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Fringe Florida: Travels among Mud Boggers, Furries, Ufologists, Nudists, and Other Lovers of Unconventional Lifestyles
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Fringe Florida: Travels among Mud Boggers, Furries, Ufologists, Nudists, and Other Lovers of Unconventional Lifestyles

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  27 reviews
“This picaresque slideshow definitely has its ear to the ground for the weird, wacky, and wonderful that is now our peninsula’s chief cash crop. If you’re looking for the outer orbits of America, come to Florida, and if you seek the Sunshine State’s funky-drumbeat fringe, you can do no better than Lynn Waddell.”—Tim Dorsey, New York Times best-selling author


“Waddell takes
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by University Press of Florida
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  98 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book. I’ve always been interested in the different interests and lifestyles people seem to have, and it was fascinating getting a look at some of the fringe cultures in Florida. Some of the people involved were amazing, and I found myself engrossed in more than a few of the larger than life people that were brought to life in this book. I appreciated the respect the author had for the people,
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Jun 25, 2013 marked it as return-to-later
Nothing seems to be holding my interest at the moment, so I thought I'd switch gears and try something different. I saw furries and knew I had to get this, haha. ...more
Austin Collins
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
With gonzo gusto, intrepid veteran alt-journalist Lynn Waddell wades warily into the weirdness of America's Strangest State, plunging into a variety of outside-the-mainstream microcultures and often dragging her husband James along for the ride.

From an all-girl motorcycle club to The Holy Land Experience, from exotic animal collectors to the spiritualist mediums of Cassadaga, from UFO enthusiasts to people who dress up like horses, Fringe Florida is a sometimes-baffled, always-exuberant account
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lynn Waddell knows Florida inside and out. A much lauded news reporter, Waddell also boasts a beautifully literary writing style, sharp insights, and a terrific sense of humor. It all adds up to a nuanced, entertaining book about the nation's most intriguing --the polite word for it -- state. If the wacky headlines about the Sunshine State grab your eye, dig in deeper and meet some of Fringe Florida's kooky characters. ...more
Bob Pomeroy
Jul 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I got a funny look at the bookstore when I turned the book over and said, "Oh, it's Bernie the Bondgae Bunny." Bernie is a Florida Furry (someone who likes to dress up in animal costume) and is a fixture at Fetishcon, the annual trade show held in Tampa every August. Seeing someone I know on the cover. I had to explore further and see how many other fringe friends I might run into.

Lynn Waddell is our guide to some of Florida's quirkier communities. She comes to these communities as an outsider,
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Just for clarification: This is NOT a guide book of sorts, so if that is what you are interested in, this book may not be for you. What it IS, however, is a collection of 10 essays about subcultures you may come across in Florida, if you go looking for them. Or you might just stumble upon them, like I did years ago when unsuspecting little me unknowingly waddled into a nudist resort. If only Lynn Waddell's wonderful account of The Other Florida had already existed back then, it could have saved
Laura Keane
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am a native and a Floridaphile, so I was predisposed. But this is the "best yet" of the Florida-focused genre. Lynn Waddell's journalism credentials shine as she details how she chose the subcultures to highlight, namely, each one had to have some Florida boasting rights. For that reason, we learn about alternative lifestyles that exist all over the world, but have some connection to this "piece of fringe" dangling from the lower 48. I cannot fathom anyone not lapping this up and going back to ...more
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Ever wonder what it would be like to visit a nudist colony, ride with a biker gang or race a mud buggy? This book might be the best way to find out. Wonderful writing and many laugh out loud moments as the everywoman author and her husband walk on the wild side in Florida. This book is distinguished by its background research and by the humor and tolerance of the author as she explores some alternative Florida lifestyles.
Jennifer Hart
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I absolutely loved this book, Fringe Florida A.K.A a voyeur's guide to alternative lifestyles in the sunshine state. The author did an amazing job conveying each situation with respect and a stellar sense of humor and an overwhelming message of "whatever blows up your skirt-- whether you chose to wear one or not." Well done. ...more
Robbie Cox
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Lynn Waddell does a great job reporting on the underground life in Florida and is even successful in dragging her husband along on some of her excursions. Not your Disney World, but it does have everything from Mud bogging to swingers to the Holy Land Experience. A great read.
Amanda Nicole
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much! I loved learning about some of the so-called "fringe" cultures within and around Florida. I found this book insanely entertaining as well as informative. I'd highly recommend it. ...more
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fun, fun...weird and wonderful.
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I was delighted, shocked and entertained. Thank you for the Florida Fringe entertainment. What a treat! Everyone should read this book. <3
Steve 'Rat'
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Come for the furries, stay for the biker chicks. Pretty enjoyable essay collection. The better chapters are the ones about people who aren't likely to make the publisher's blurb. The furries and swingers come across as a little shallow but it feels like that was an authentic capture. The biker chicks seem to be a nice group of folks, the UFO guys seem likable enough, and the bloggers seem to have some depth even if I don't think I'd agree with them on much. ...more
Lisa Kirchner
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love how this book delves into Florida's madness without falling prey to the allure, either to subscribe to it or shame it. Casts an unfaltering eye on a state that's bedeviled by, well, mud boggers, furries, ufologists, nudists, and more... ...more
Apr 05, 2021 rated it liked it
Feb 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
I flipped through this and was disgusted. Not as funny or insightful as I expected.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it liked it
I read this book because the author will be speaking at my local library next week. The book is about "fringe" lifestyles in my home state of Florida, and what I found is that I am far too (to use the language of the book) vanilla to comfortably appreciate a discussion of some of the lifestyles highlighted here, I'm afraid. There are some clearly blush-worthy fetishes uncovered here, including a few that I didn't know existed that in fact are apparently thriving in the Tampa Bay area. Furries, s ...more
Erika Lance
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this book as part of a local book reading club called "Critical Drinking". As you can imagine this club is a bit different then others of it's kind.

I must say the moment I saw the cover I thought, this is going to be good. I can tell you I wasn't let down one bit :). Lynn's ability to get people to open up and share parts of their life that I am sure even people close to them might not know is amazing.

I live if Florida and sometimes you forget some of the strange and bizarre things that c
Bart Hill
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
A fun read about those who choose to live alternative lifestyles in the Sunshine State. The chapters on those who keep rare animals , especially pythons, was great as well as the chapters on the King of Trampa, Alien Riviera and Radical Rednecks (mudboggers). The only downer of the book was the last chapter in which nudist resorts, and nude bikers was explored. That one simply felt flat. Perhaps it was because the other chapters had been injected with humor from those being described as well as ...more
Jeremy Kitchen
Jul 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
Do you have an Aunt who likes to talk about how she smoked a joint that one time? Waddell fits the part, if you think of fringe in the context of publishers like Feral House or Semiotext, then this one is not for you.

Boring essays on pretty mainstream stuff, furries, big truck enthusiasts, and girl gangs. Not really on the fringe anymore, unless you are my Grandma. Granny would have been freaked out.

Moderately Weird Florida would have been a more apt title.
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was ok

I somehow get drawn into these slice of life books with the fancy or titillating titles. It must be me. This one is no exception. Because I live in Florida I was drawn in by the curiosity. There a few nuggets of interest but nothing earth rattling, you will find that in California along with such assorted goofballs presented here. Much of this was Zzzz material
May 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Very interesting, but I think I won't be visiting any of these fringe places while living here! Fun to read and learn about all these sub cultures. The pony play, swinger, and pets were the most intriguing to me. ...more
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really like getting to know some of the alternative lifestyles that are so perfectly normal to the people who live them. It definitely pushes me more into wanting to do my Florida road trip. It certainly wasn't the best written book but was interesting and for the most part entertaining. ...more
rated it it was amazing
Nov 17, 2013
Bill Lide
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Oct 06, 2013
rated it really liked it
Nov 01, 2014
rated it it was amazing
May 22, 2014
Chris Whittaker
rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2014
Kristine Franklin
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: florida
I didn't read all of the essays but it was fun reading about all of our crazy residents.
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I love working dogs, my techie husband, and books that make me think as well as let me escape my fears and disappointments. Not necessarily in that order.

I am a journalist, published author of non-fiction and aspiring author of fiction. Oh, and sometimes I teach journalism at the University of Tampa. Check out my websites for more info about me and my work. and

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